Friday, April 22, 2016

8 Ways to Save 96 Gallons of Water a Day

From RodaleWellness.com

There are a lot of reasons to be concerned for our water supply: Population growth means more people are using water, climate change continues to nudge evaporation rates higher, doubts and floods keep intensifying, and humans keep polluting the small amount of water that's left.

While the challenges we face are real, this means that our daily actions have bigger impacts, according to research from Environmental Magazine. "These trends are harbingers of an impending water crisis and highlight the critical importance of household water conservation today," report the researchers.  Read the entire article.


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Our Warfare Is NOT Against People

The Sword Is The Word
by Andrew Wommack

Read John 18:33-37

John 18:36 "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

Christ's kingdom is spiritual, in the hearts of men - not physical; therefore, our fight as Christians must not be with carnal weapons but with spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Spiritual forces cannot be defeated with human weapons.

When we are being attacked for being a part of Christ's kingdom, we must fight with spiritual weapons. Our warfare is not against people, but against the spiritual powers that operate behind the scenes through people. We must realize who the real enemy is and fight with the spiritual weapons the Lord has given us.

We often think that anger will put a person in his place. But "the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God" (Jas. 1:20). Anger displayed against people puts us right into the hand of the devil. The way to overcome the spiritual powers that come against us through people is to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39). That makes the demons flee in terror.

One of the main weapons the Apostle Paul speaks of is the Gospel, which is the Sword of the Spirit, (the Word of God). It's the Word backed by God's Spirit that can pull down and crush the strongholds of Satan.

Every Christian is at war. There is a perpetual struggle against Satan and his kingdom from which there are no "leaves" or "discharges." Our enemy goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Those who resist the devil will see him flee (Jas. 4:7). The only ones whom he devours are those who don't actively fight against him.

Visit Andrew's Website.


Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com. Articles written by Donna L. Watkins may also be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com.

Suffering With Christ - Look Again

You Must Suffer with Christ to be Glorified with Him
by Clint Byars - Forward Ministries

Romans 8:17 - "Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

This is such an amazing promise! But, I have seen this passage create confusion for people. You may have heard this passage taught from the perspective that we have to suffer the things that Jesus suffered in this life to be worthy to share in His glory.

The phrase “share in his sufferings” is the Greek word, sympaschō. It’s only used twice in entire Bible. The other place is in 1 Corinthians 12:26 where it refers to the idea that if one member of the body of Christ suffers then we all suffer. In other words, if one person goes through something, we all share in what they’re going through.

For this application of the word “sufferings,” you have to understand the meaning to be “you feel what the other person is feeling.” You sympathize/empathize with them because you identify with them. We do this all the time when we’re watching a movie. We feel what the characters are feeling, we put ourself in their place and wonder what we would do.

This is what we are to do with Jesus. You are to identify with His sufferings because He did it for you. Your deliverance and salvation was gained by what He did for you so you get to share in the glory that He obtained through the suffering of death, burial and resurrection.

The Old Covenant sacrificial system included a type of sharing in the sufferings of a sacrifice. When you brought your animal to the priest for the sacrificial atonement for your sin, you were supposed to look at that sacrifice as its blood was spilled and say, “that should have been me.” You were expected to get your heart involved and identity with what this sacrifice was going through for you. You were to personalize or identify with the suffering of that sacrifice for your benefit.

God doesn’t need you to experience difficulty to experience His glory, Jesus suffered for you so you could be a partaker of his divine nature and be qualified for all His promises. We don’t gain an aspect of spiritual salvation by suffering something in our flesh. If we did then we’d have something to boast about. But we are to boast in Jesus’ finished work. We participate in and benefit from His glory on this side of the cross.

Yes, you may experience suffering but it’s never from God. The only references to suffering under the New Covenant come as a result of you standing up for your faith and being persecuted for doing so. That kind of suffering doesn’t make you holy or qualify you to share in his glory, it just means you’re willing to lay your life down because you're in Christ.

Jesus suffered the death you deserved so He could give you the life that He deserves. Take some time to meditate on what He experienced on the cross, in His death and in His resurrection. See yourself in His suffering because it should have been you. See yourself in His victory because it is you. See yourself and feel what it means to be a child of the most high, loving Father who lavishes good gifts on the ones He loves. Your Father God knows you can gain not one ounce of favor by anything you do in your flesh so He makes it all available in Jesus.

Awaken to righteousness and allow your Father to glory Himself in you by establishing His promises through you. You, as a believer, are truly qualified for everything that Jesus inherited from His Father because you trust in Him!

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Fever Myths Busted

From Prevention.com

Mary E. Frank, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a physician in Rohnert Park, CA, says what you think you know about fevers may hurt you. Here are six myths that she cleared up in an issue of Bottom Line Health.

1. Normal body temperature is 98.6 deg F.
Actually everyone has a slightly different normal body temp, and what is normal changes by the time of day and declines as you age.

5. If you have a fever you're contagious.
If you have a fever, it doesn't mean you are contagious, and when you are contagious you may not have a fever. So don't use having it as a guideline of when you should stay away from other people.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Unsaved Loved Ones - Don't Give Up!

by Donna L. Watkins

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Praying Mantis Watching Me
View More Critter Photos of Bluebird Cove
All of us have a list of people we're praying for that we want to join us for our Eternity in Heaven. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents have prayed for decades on some wayward children. Parents for their children, friends and neighbors. Brothers for sisters, sisters for brothers. And let's not forget the grandparents that are so faithful in this task. Sometimes it's hard to pray ... you've been doing it for so long. What else can you say?

It's not what we say that matters, it's whether we believe God is faithful. God is always speaking to us. If you think about it or ask God to remind you of times in your life when you weren't saved that you were thinking of God ... or situations turned out differently if there "wasn't a God" ... I'm sure He could bring stored memories back.

I had a period of my life where I considered myself an atheist and yet I look back and see God work in those worst of times. God, if there was a God, had to have been involved. It's like they say, "There are no atheists in fox holes." Even in the worst times of our lives when we didn't believe there was a God, our hearts would cry out to Him for help.

When we were in the deepest of sins, God's voice still reached through that seemingly hypnotic state we lived in of misery. Able to hear Him even while we're held in prison by evil. I like the illustration that Fred Pruitt gives: "Like Radio Free Europe blasting into old Communist Europe, God spoke to our spirit. We were able to hear the voice of freedom even while living under the 'propaganda of totalitarian regime'."

We said nothing .... nobody knew we had these thoughts or moments. We ourselves would forget them, but that didn't end them from suddenly appearing in our lives again and again as many years went by. What we sense during those dark times is the fear of the Kingdom of darkness. Times we chose to reach out to tangible things for help, even though these kinds of things only make life darker and darker as the addictions grab hold on someone. Alcohol, nicotine, shopping addiction, over-eating, gambling, etc. to take away the pain, but it's always there. We're looking for peace and it can only be found in Jesus.

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Conservatory Garden - Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
View Photos of Our Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Visit
That Kingdom of darkness that we sense is the beginning of our return home to the Father. There's a moment in time when it all comes together. It happens when we realize in some sense that God IS. So, don't give up on your loved one. Some of us have been blessed to find the Lord early in life and really have no idea of how somebody can get so tangled up in sin and darkness. Understanding WHY they choose the things they do is beyond our comprehension, but certainly not beyond our possibility .... "there but for the grace of God, go I."

Being drawn into the evil of the world begins with baby steps. We make many choices that move us away from God ... but He's always drawing us back in. We hear a testimony of how God just "showed up" and instantly they were delivered from sin, addictions, and even physically healed, as if it was in that moment that God moved. God was always speaking and moving. We just had to come to the end of ourselves.

Don't give up ... on yourself or anybody else. Pray that strongholds will be broken over their lives, a distaste for the addictions they have, that blind spots be revealed and that their "AHA MOMENT" would come quickly into their life. You could be the only one praying for them! Don't give up! "We love Him, because He first loved us!" (1 John 4:19) And we then find that in all the while “He was working all things after the counsel of the His own will” (Eph 1:11), and that “He worked all things together for our good” (Rom 8:28).

Love never fails ... pray, but show love also. Be the only Jesus they can see right now. Love, even when rejected, remains and never fails. It will puzzle and perplex the most lost person because they feel they have no value ... so they can't comprehend how somebody could love them ... even when they are mean and ugly. Love breaks through!

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Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com. Articles written by Donna L. Watkins may also be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website, www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Fast-Food Retailers Pushing Forward on Cage-Free Eggs

Happy Chicken
The recent championing of cage-free eggs has largely been pushed forward by fast-food retailers. McDonald's, Starbucks, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy's and Shake Shack plan to go cage-free within the next decade. Other food makers -- Nestle and Mars, for instance -- have announced a future switch to cage-free eggs.

Trader Joe's has thrown its weight behind the growing cage-free egg movement, making it one of the few prominent grocery chains to do so.  The beloved supermarket introduced eggs laid by cage-free hens as an option more than a decade ago, and just over 60 percent of the eggs it currently offers are cage-free. The company on Feb. 12 announced it would begin selling only cage-free eggs in all stores by 2025. Locations in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado could see the switch as early as 2020.  (Source: HuffingtonPost)

I think 2015 will go down as the year that food manufacturers and restaurants started ditching ingredients based on consumer input. (SEE! We can make a difference!)  Last week, Chipotle announced it was going mostly GMO-free. Earlier in the year, Kraft announced it was taking the artificial colors out of Original Macaroni & Cheese, Dunkin’ Donuts removed a chemical whitening agent, McDonald’s pledged to serve antibiotic-free chicken, and Hershey’s said its most popular chocolates will go GMO-free.  (Source: MotherNatureNetwork)

My Thoughts
The long-range dates are certainly not comforting, but I believe, with all of this consumer flurry of activity to get "tormented chicken eggs" out of our diets, that the dates are going to be moved way ahead of what they have promised. Panera made a promise in 2015 and has been rolling out the changes almost weekly.

Some people may say, "What's the big deal?"  Even if you don't have a heart for humane animal welfare practices, you should care about the fact that free-range chickens produce a different egg than those caged.


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FDA Says Antibacterial Soap No Better Than Regular Soap

When you're buying soaps and body washes, do you reach for the bar or bottle labeled "antibacterial"? Are you thinking that these products, in addition to keeping you clean, will reduce your risk of getting sick or passing on germs to others?

Not necessarily, according to experts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  In fact, there currently is no evidence that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water, says Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., a lead microbiologist at FDA.

Moreover, antibacterial soap products contain chemical ingredients, such as triclosan and triclocarban, which may carry unnecessary risks given that their benefits are unproven.  There are indications that certain ingredients in these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and may have unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern to FDA.

FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been closely collaborating on science and regulatory issues related to triclosan. This joint effort will help to ensure government-wide consistency in the regulation of the chemical.  EPA regulates the use of triclosan as a pesticide

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